Am I African Enough?

Sometime in February, a prominent Kenyan writer and African icon Binyavanga Wainaina came out; the reactions in the Kenyan media as well as barbershop conversations and roadside gatherings were full of hatred leaning to extremism. Among the arguments against his public disclosure was that homosexuality is un-African?

"I have been largely puzzled by this un-African tag. It somehow points to the existence of a creation that defines what it means to be or not to be African. It also legitimizes behavior using a set of rules and guidelines based on nothing more than an “African” code of conduct. I am also similarly puzzled when I hear western-raised individuals declare themselves true Africans; or when young people are criticized of having lost touch with their African roots.

Is anyone able to mentally grasp the African identity? Does being African mean anything beyond the borders that shape our continent? Should African be defined in comparison with others, or should it be based on inherent qualities that make up our “African-ness”?"

Do you have characteristics that you feel belong to your country, city or continent? Make a list of characteristics you have and mark the ones you feel are related to your culture. Review the list again and think about people from other countries, do you think they might have these characteristics as well?

Source: Voices of Youth
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